Originally Posted by Sk8Leigh
A DVD is the intented output. I'm trying to take the program from the HiDef DVR and put it on a DVD in as close to the original output as possible. I know the picture won't be as good, but if I could get everything else the same, that's what I want. But maybe it's just not possible.
I have rewritable DVD-RAMs, but I'm unable to get them to play on my PC. I think that's because it's not finalized? It doesn't even recognize that it's in the drive.
So you're saying with this black box, it would change the aspect ratio to 16:9 as it's being recorded to the Low Def DVD? That's what I need. And if I can't find a way to do that, then I guess I'll just have to go with the letterboxing.
If you think the black box would work, how much is it, and where would I get it?
The black box I was referring to only does one function: it provides the flag telling the DVD-Recorder that the incoming content is 16x9 vs 4x3; nothing more, and it does not work with all DVD Recorders. Getting the "postage stamp" effect is not solved by this device.
1. My DirectV receivers and DVRs have an interesting function on the remote called "FORMAT." It will take a take a 16x9 "postage stamp" and ZOOM it out to the full screen (with some attendant added fuzziness), so that I can record SD channels showing 16x9 letterboxed content as full screen when I record to my DVD-RW.
2. If your set top box does not have this "ZOOM" format function, depending upon how much time you want to put into the project, you could record it to a DVD-RW in postage stamp mode, move it over to your computer, use a program to rip it to your hard disk and crop the black out, so that the resulting file is completely 16x9 and then burn it back to a DVD-R set for 16x9.
On my Macintosh, a good program for this purpose is MPEG Streamclip, which is available on the internet. It will keep the file in MPEG-2 format, but you will have to transcode it to eliminate the black bars.
Again, of course, blowing up the postage stamp (probably 640x360) to full 852x480 on a DVD will inject some resolution quality loss, but at least you will get full screen. If the original content is HD and not SD, this loss of quality should be minimal.
I NEVER use the DVD-RAM recording feature offered by my Panny DVD Recorder, but always use rewritable DVD-RWs that once finalized, rip correctly on my Macintosh. That being said, I think Roxio's Toast offers the ability to suck the MPEG-2 off of DVD-RAMs; but again, I recommend to avoid them for these purposes.
If, as suggested by the other replies, that a component to S-Video box would SOLVE the problem (and save the horribly time consuming steps I suggest), as life is short and time is money, go for their solution!